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We rescued a kitten. Sort of on accident. You see, I didn’t want to rescue a kitten. Kittens are cute. Kittens are easy sells. Everyone wants kittens. But the people on PetFinder, I learned, are kind of free with their definition of “baby” and “young” animals. I saw animals listed as “baby” who were, if you read the description, 3 years or older. Not. A. Baby. Not even in human years! So I just started looking randomly at cats, looking for a youngish cat that was no longer an easily-adoptable kitten, and happened to have the local shelter cat search page up when Esteban walked in and pointed at a little grey and white cat and said “Oooh, find out if she’s available. She’s POSING!” and sure enough, the cat was posing for the camera, with a little twist to her tail and a proud perhaps fiendish look in her eye. I agreed to look for this cat when I went to the shelter the next day on a scouting mission, because sometimes the shelter is bad about removing adopted animals from their page (as I found out when I had fallen in love with a black and white boy cat named Gilbert, who was adopted out from under me within 24 hours), so I went in and looked around the cat rooms. No grey and white cat with the very distinguishing dark patch on half her nose. I checked the segregation cages… nada. Then I caught her shelter-given name on a card taped in the kitten room. Uh-oh. There she was, sleeping in a ball. The teeniest, tiniest, miniature cat that you ever did see. It turns out that she had been underfed, so she didn’t have the bulging tummy and cranial growth that most kittens have, where their head isn’t the right proportion to their bodies. She honestly just looked like a very sleek adult cat, except that she was small enough to fit in one hand. When the shelter worker handed her to me, the first thing she did was wake up and sneeze directly into my face fourteen times. She was wheezing and coughing and seemed unsteady on her feet, but immediately started purring and snuggling up to my neck and super clinging and then started licking my face and nostril and eyelid and nostril again and lips and purring and wheezing and nostril licking, that I realized it didn’t matter. We were in love. Grey super-tiny kitten and I. We were hopeless.

Actually adopting her turned into a semi-nightmare. The shelter wouldn’t release her to me because she needed spaying (no problem) but the vet wouldn’t be able to make a surgical appointment for another three days. The shelter had only started her on treatment that day for what was obviously a very bad respiratory infection, so they admitted that the vet probably wouldn’t be able to spay her in three days anyway, so they would just send her home with me, unspayed, until she got better. Except that it couldn’t happen until her appointment for the surgery that couldn’t have anyway. Huh? I asked if they could just bring her to the vet for a pre-surgical consult, have the vet declare that she was unfit for surgery and just send her home with me that day, so that she wouldn’t have to stay in the shelther (and get worse or possibly infect other cats), but they wouldn’t budge, not even when I said that I’d pay for the vet to board the kitten in the event that she was ok for surgery, because they weren’t allowed to do that to the vet. Then I went to the vet’s office, and explained the situation, and the vet called over and said to bring the kitten over for them to look at. After much discussion, the shelter finally admitted that they had no one who could drive the cat over (and of course, they wouldn’t release her to me or anyone else). So we went in again the next day, as soon as the shelter opened, went through the same rigamarole, but this time had someone who was willing to take the kitten to the vet, where they agreed that holy crap, that was one sick kitten and yeah, no way she was getting surgery. They gave her different antibiotics, some ear drops for her mites, some eye drops for the eye infection that she had, and sent us on our way.

We scrambled and went out to buy new cat boxes, kitten food, a collar and a million other necessities, and then brought Jincy home, where she spent the next two days in constant contact with one of us, either sleeping in our arms like a baby or sleeping on my shoulder/cleavage. We were back to the vet three days later, as the kitten started having nosebleeds, which were apparently due to the furious sneezing and coughing. We left with a new antibiotic (the other one wasn’t working as well as the vet liked), l-lysine paste, some deworming stuff (if she had worms, they would have caused coughing) and instructions to get baby nosedrops to lubricate her nostrils. Okay! We were back to the vet six days later when I noticed that what I thought was stained/discolored fur (due to the nosebleeds) was actually a bald patch and she had also gained a disturbing legion above an eye. Ringworm! Not a worm, but actually a fungus! I learn something new every week with Jincy. They did a culture, told me to buy Monistat (seriously) and then encouraged me to come back in for lime sulfur dips if she kept getting lesions. She did, of course, so we brought her in for a stinky expensive bath, and were told that she needed to be brought in weekly for at least four more treatments.

Jincy at the vet

The good news is that Jincy has recovered from her very very bad respiratory infection and hasn’t had a nosebleed since I gave her first dose of the nose drops (Little Noses brand, by the way, if you ever have that problem) and we found some Lime Sulfur dip stuff on the internet and will be attempting to do her baths at home. We pretty much have to, at this point, because the alternative is $500 in baths! I mean, at this point, we’ve spent over $1500 on this cat and haven’t even had her big surgery yet, and as far as I can tell, the jury is out on how well the lime sulfur stuff actually works. And why does the vet charge more for horrible farty sulfur smelling baths than my typical trip to a Vegas spa? Especially when you can buy the stuff for $20 on Amazon? Well, probably because they have some kind of device in which to detain the cat, whereas we will likely lose pints of blood in the attempted dousing, but these are tough times and already I’m kind of wishing we would have just saved mony and bought a cat made of DIAMONDS.

Fur--faux and real

Even though she’s the most expensive alley cat that ever was, Jincy is already a super sweet and hilarious kitty. We’re already realizing that she’s the polar opposite of Tilly, in that she enjoys being petted and held and loved and wants to kiss your face off if at all possible. She does enjoy attacking and leaping and has already killed and maimed one roll of toilet paper (we’re still chasing down the shreds) but so far she’s been worth every penny. Also, I keep thinking of something that the vet mentioned on one of the half dozen trips, about how she was a little concerned about seeing how sick Jincy was when we brought her in and can’t imagine what would have happened if she’d been left in the shelter, as the drugs given by the shelter were not anywhere near the dosage Jincy’s infection needed. The vet wondered on the chances of a very ill kitten getting selected from a crowd of other healthier kittens, which makes me feel a little less guilty for adopting an adorable baby instead of an older kitty. Maybe she was just telling me that to make me feel better, but judging by the change in Jincy’s personality as she got better, we’re realizing how ill she really was when we brought her home. And I’ve earned a lot of airline miles off this cat! Also, I defy you to keep yourself from wanting to rub that belly. And she wants you to rub it. Oh yes she does.


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  1. That's My Bix! › I’m a unicorn on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    […] a very true fact: our cat Jincy is the boss of all of […]

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